The actual number of corporations that have deployed cloud computing remains small. The Corporate Executive Board's Infrastructure Executive Council doesn't expect to see mainstream adoption -- meaning at least 50 percent of corporations have embraced cloud computing -- until 2012. And even then, they believe companies will only use some of the services that fall under the cloud computing umbrella.
Still, IT departments large and small feel obligated to at least look into cloud computing's potential to save money, reduce overhead and increase efficiency and flexibility.
What's more, those IT shops that drag their feet might find overeager users are beating them to the cloud, warns James Staten, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. For example, "application developers are using the cloud and not telling IT," he says. To avoid being caught unaware, IT should take the lead in deciding what goes into the cloud and determining how to get it there, says Staten.
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